My 2015

 

 

Happy new year.

I am back to writing. But in a very slow way. I started this post over two weeks ago. And now January is almost over.

I felt nostalgic. The last time I did this was 2012. And then social media happened. I got distracted. I didn’t do a retrospective of 2013 or 2014.

So because of the lack of stories from 2015, I spent time and dug up photos and stories about the year that was. I’m including moments big and small, random and deliberate, work and personal, travel and home. That was the year I met a member of the British royal family and a Prime Minister. I went up the Himalayas and down under in New Zealand. And we squeezed in a one month stay in Toronto. After writing, I realized that for a year that was totally unplanned, I had done so much. I put my trust in God completely. That was the year I just allowed Him to surprise me. And the blessings just came. Grateful.

Here goes… this is going to be a long one.

 

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We started 2015 in our favourite beach.

 

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We’ve been coming here for ten years.

 

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I remember when Stella was so tiny and we still had to carry her through the sand bar.

 

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Early morning walk while Patrick biked.

 

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During the second week of 2015, Pope Francis visited the Philippines. I sat in the rain for 5 hours with my cousins and waited to have a glimpse of Pope Francis. It was exhilarating. And experience I will never forget.

 

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The Launch of DAPHNE & National Book Store stationery line happened on the third week of January. I am ever so grateful for the trust that Xandra Ramos Padilla has for my brand. This was a dream come true.

 

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Thank you National Book Store!

 

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These pouches sold out real fast. This is the daisy (Margarita) print. I just love seeing my products together… in my home.

 

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For the DAPHNE® & NBS products we took inspiration from my daughters’ names – the rose, the lily and the daisy. Isabel Gatuslao worked on the prints for me. We also had a hummingbird print that coincidently represents my dad – a helicopter pilot.

 

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The launch was extra special because it was the first time I brought my daughters to any of my official events. And my parents were also in town then.

 

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January also gave us theatre. Stella and I were invited to watch Beauty and The Beast at the CCP by Globe Business. In photo is Globe’s President and CEO, Ernest Cu.

 

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Stella enjoyed her night at the theatre. Thank you to Ron Gonzales for the invite. (She is still upset that I didn’t bring her to Wicked. She was too small then.)

 

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I got a couple of nights away at Shangrila Boracay with the MAC Cosmetics team. They introduced their Spring Summer 2015 collection.

 

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I swear, we were in Boracay for work.

 

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Not a bad way to do real work. Read my report here.

 

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In February, Sophia joined a Lego competition in the mall. She was with my parents; we were not with her. She won first prize and came home with so many Lego sets! I’m doubly proud when the kids do things on their own initiative, with out mommy or daddy pushing them. Yay Sophia!

 

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In the beginning of February, I hosted the official grand opening gala of the City of Dreams. I had been booked for this project half a year in ahead. And I was so amazed that it finally actually happened. I had the honour of saying “The doors of City of Dreams Manila are now open!” I don’t have official photos though. Haha.

 

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Backstage at City of Dreams gala with one of my favourite makeup artists Ria Aquino.

 

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I shared the stage with Ne-Yo and Kelly Rowland. (I introduced them on stage).

 

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The very next day after City of Dreams launch, Patrick and I were on a plane to Bangkok to start our journey through Bhutan. Our one night in Bangkok was fun! I had never explored Bangkok before. I was always there for work.

 

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We did touristy things like ride the tuktuk and ferry boat. We went to Jim Thompson’s house, ate street food, took photos of pink taxis. We just stayed for one night and flew to Bhutan the next morning.

 

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Touchdown Bhutan! It was the most exciting plane landing. If the view wasn’t spectacular, I would have flipped out. It was like a scene right out of Indiana Jones. Maneouvering through the Himalayan mountains with the view of Mt Everest out the window, and suddenly a short landing strip.

 

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Those chairs look familiar

 

 

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Last November 2014, I had the great honour of hosting the official launch of APEC 2015 in the Philippines. It was attended by the country’s top business, economic and government leaders. No less than the President of the Philippines himself, President Benigno Aquino III was there to speak. It promised to be an exciting year with high-profile activities across the country. We are even getting a long vacation because of it next month.

This blog post isn’t really about APEC. It’s about chairs and integrity.

A reader of mine sent me these photos taken at the Yusay Consing Mansion in Iloilo City. It is a “heritage home” built in the 1920s and is currently being used as the site of three high-profile events for APEC dignitaries.

 

The Yusay Consing Mansion in Iloilo City is the site of the "one-stop shop" for APEC 2015. This is where the DAPHNE-inspired chairs are being displayed and sold.

The Yusay Consing Mansion in Iloilo City is the site of the “one-stop shop” for APEC 2015.

 

According to Iloilo City’s Facebook account, The Yusay-Consing mansion has been transformed into a heritage museum, where Ilonggo products are “proudly” displayed and sold. It is also now known as Molo Mansion. Here are the reader’s photos of the Yusay Consing Mansion displays and museum shop.

Please tell me what you see in these next three photos.

Inside the Yusay Consing Mansion, chairs that bear an almost exact resemblance to my chairs are being displayed.

Inside the Yusay Consing Mansion… those chairs look familiar.

 

The copies.

Those chairs look familiar.

 

For sale....

The price of one “accent chair”

 

Let me re-introduce the chairs from my own brand.

The DAPHNE® chairs were conceived in 2009. It was part of an overall wish, that one day there would be high-quality products sold under my brand. I set up DAPHNE as a registered trademark years before, upon the advise of my lawyer friend. Once we were set up, things worked out well and fast. I had products developed in partnership with top retailers and manufacturers. Our luxury linen was sold in SM and Our Home. Then came DAPHNE Furniture® which debuted in Rustan’s Makati and was later moved to all the big branches of Dimensione. Then DAPHNE® Home Scents for BENCH. And Currently, I have DAPHNE and National Book Store stationery. For all these products, there was a supporting team of designers, technical specialists and business partners who helped me design, set up, source, manufacture, market, and retail them. It wasn’t easy. It took time, money and talent.

The DAPHNE chairs were received well by the media and the public. They were cute. But more importantly, they were very well-made. Our partner manufacturer is one of the country’s top furniture makers, licensed for export and all that. The paint, distressing process, type of wood, hand carving process were all top-quality.

When my brand and blog were featured in Vogue Italia, the author asked me about the chairs. You may read about it here. You may also view the many times I’ve written about my chair in my blog.

Last year, my partners and I decided to put the furniture line to rest. We stopped making the DAPHNE chairs. I felt that the chairs had a good enough run. And it was time to move on. I had planned on developing new products.

So for now, there are no longer any real/original DAPHNE chairs being sold. I may bring it back one day… after all, it is very special to me and my brand.

 

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In 2010, in my own home. One of the prototypes of DAPHNE chairs and my youngest daughter.

 

"How did you do that Mom?" -Lily,5 upon seeing the Daphne Chairs at Dimensione
In 2012, I moved the DAPHNE chairs from Rustan’s to Dimensione. This coincided with the launch of my DAPHNE® homescents for Bench. Here is little Lily in the shop’s window.

 

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With the move to Dimensione, we came out with bolder colours. Still the same form.

 

My chair. I use its image in the packaging and on my website. This particular image was drawn by Isabel Gatuslao, who designed this website.
I use the image of the chair on my website’s dashboard. It has become this iconic thing. This particular image was drawn by Isabel Gatuslao, who designed this website.

 

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At UNICEF’s Auction for Action, which I founded and hosted for three years, I donated two DAPHNE® chairs. Here it is, displayed at the Yuchengco Museum.

 

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Early on, one of my readers, a baker, got inspired by the chairs. She used them as cupcake toppers and sent me this photo.

 

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Another baker in Ilocos Norte gave me this cupcake with an intricately handcrafted fondant replica of my chair. It was done to scale. I kept this, as is. Though my friend, Eliza, accidentally sat on it. haha. So the leg is broken.

 

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Original DAPHNE® chairs started to be used at Vanilla Cupcake bakery a few years ago. .

 

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The DAPHNE chairs were also sold in HEIMA for a limited time.

 

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At a trade show in 2012 where I was able to put all my products together in one setting. Months later, I launched DAPHNE Home Scents by Bench. And early this year I launched DAPHNE & National Book Store stationery.

 

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Featured in Lucy Torres-Gomez’s old TV show, Leading Ladies, in Lifestyle Network.

 

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The chairs are so special to me, I use it as my Twitter profile pic.

 

The APEC ministerial meetings have been ongoing in Iloilo City since September 22nd. The are “familiar-looking chairs” are being shown and sold as we speak. I don’t know what can be done now.

I’m just sad that there is no respect for intellectual property!

My heart is broken.

 

 

Prenatal Screening

 

 

My first pregnancy. Photo by Eddieboy Escudero
Waiting for Sophia. Photo by Eddieboy Escudero.

 

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Waiting for Lily. Photo by my husband.

 

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Waiting for Stella.

 

During my recent travels, I was reminded of what it was like to have little babies and toddlers on a long flight. I saw moms and dads chasing their active toddlers running down the aisle of the plane. There was one mom who balanced a baby holding a change of diapers and baby wipes in another hand. One family had an army of yayas caring for the kids; the yayas would bring the toddler to Business Class cabin when the parents wanted. Wow, that was me a few years ago. Minus the yayas and Business Class. We have never traveled with a yaya. The youngest my kids flew on a plane was 4 months. I’ve also survived flying long haul with three kids alone (no husband to help me). I’m not asking for an award. Moms are really just like that. We just make it all work. As stressful as all that sounds, I actually miss it all. Suddenly, we have no more diapers, no sippy cups, no strollers, no more army of yayas.

I became a mom much later than my Filipino peers. Some of my Filipino childhood friends have kids who’ve already graduated from college. Mine just got out of pre-school. However my Canadian friends and I are pretty much on the same schedule. We all started having babies in our early- and mid-30’s. It was both a deliberate plan and providence (or destiny).

When I was still in university, I thought I had my life figured out. I thought that I’d start having babies at 27. But when I was 24, I started working overseas. (I mean, from Toronto, I was assigned on projects outside of Canada, and eventually was sent to the Philippines for work.) In my urban planning field, it was important to gain international experience at the start of one’s career. So while I was busy “changing the world,” I also worried that my biological clock kept ticking. I had to stop myself from doing the math in my head with every birthday that came.

 

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Shoot for Urban Zone, by Marty Ilagan 2009.

 

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During my pregnancy with Stella, we were planning our second line of DAPHNE Linen. This came out in Philippine Star.

 

Looking back, I do not have any regrets about having my babies in my 30’s. By the time I got married, career goals were being achieved, dreams were coming true, and I had financial and emotional stability (sort of). And with every new baby came the birth of my other babies (products, creative ventures). I felt that my husband and I were more than prepared to be parents.

 

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Throughout all my pregnancies, I worked on TV until the day I gave birth. This was in 2009, shooting Urban Zone at The Heirloom, Manila. I was wearing Religioso.

 

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Another Urban Zone shoot, while pregnant with Stella. Wearing Religioso custom made dress.

 

But as we all know, nothing in life is guaranteed. My pregnancy with Sophia was threatened. I was bedridden for 3 months because of a hematoma in my uterus. She is a miracle baby. Faith and prayers had everything to do with it. Lily and Stella were easier pregnancies. However, because I was already in my mid-30’s then, I had some fears. Fertility and genetic risks increase when a woman reaches 35+ years.

 

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Toddler Lily, waiting for baby sister, Stella.

 

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Lily excited about her baby sister.

 

Pregnancy can be the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. It can also be very unsettling if you think of the risks. It makes you most aware of the power and strength of your body. It can make you more spiritual and more intuitive. Some couples take out extra life insurance, move to new homes, and redefine their careers in order to make way for a new baby.

Proactive parents make extra plans from the moment they are expecting. Part of being proactive is going through an optional procedure – a prenatal screening. Hi-Precision Diagnostic’s Panorama™ Prenatal Screen is a non-invasive DNA screening test, which gives essential genetic information about your baby as early as nine weeks into pregnancy. The Panorama Prenatal Screen can determine the baby’s gender and find out his likelihood of having a chromosomal condition by testing a sample of the mother’s blood. Babies born to mothers over 35 years old have a higher chance of having certain chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome and Angelman Syndrome. A screen test can help determine your baby’s risk of being affected with a specific chromosome condition regardless of age, family issues, or medical history.

 

 

Panorama is a non-invasive prenatal test, which may be done in a single in office visit or at the comfort of your own home. As you will not be exposed to any extraneous elements, it is absolutely safe for you and your baby. Some of your baby’s DNA actually crosses into your bloodstream during pregnancy. Panorama Prenatal Screen is the only screen test which can distinguish between fetal and maternal DNA, so that Hi-Precision Diagnostics’ laboratory specialists can analyse your baby’s DNA using your blood. Panorama screens for a broad panel of chromosome conditions, including Chromosomal Abnormalities, Sex Chromosome Abnormalities, and Microdeletions. More importantly, Panaroma is accurate, with a 100 percent batting average on fetal sex determination and the lowest reported false negative rate for chromosomal conditions.

 

 

I first heard of Hi-Precision Diagnostics (HPD) in Powerplant Mall when I was feeling a bit faint and needed to check my blood. It is a diagnostic laboratory and clinic located in 20 very practical locations in Manila and Cebu. All their results can be checked online in a modern and safe computerized system. They also have a mobile app that lets patients access their lab results for free. HPD laboratory exams are fully automated, decreasing the risk of human error. HPD offers X-Ray, ECG, 2D Echo with Doppler, Ultrasound, Digital Mammography, and Drug Testing services.

I’m honoured that they chose to partner with my site in sharing the different and new tests that are available in Hi-Precision Diagnostics. I’ll be telling more stories about wellness and health in the coming months.

 

For more info –

Website: www.hi-precision.com.ph
Facebook: hpdiagnostics
Twitter: @HP_Diagnostics
Instagram: @hiprecisiondiagnostics
Head Office Corporate Hotline: +63 2 863-9999

 

 

Trying to do it all

 

 

We just got back from a month-long vacation in our other home, Toronto. Travel is such a great opportunity to learn and be inspired. I’m so glad that our kids see it that way too. However it can also create so much imbalance in your real life, if you don’t take care of business.

Example, my kids and husband were on vacation mode, but I, on the other hand, still had to deal with writing deadlines and product concepts. Because my work is digital, I could be anywhere in the world and still publish. The key to enjoying your vacation, is to make sure to get all the work out of the way early so you don’t have this dark cloud looming over you. And that I did. Check out our recent visit to Toronto.

 

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Toronto’s skyline has changed so much.  It has been experiencing a condo/skyscraper boom! I can no longer see the landmarks I love like the ones by Mies van der Rohe, Royal York and the gold building.

 

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In Toronto’s Casa Loma.

 

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We maximised our park and playground time.

 

There are many things I try to look forward to after the end of a fantastic vacation. Instead of getting sad about missing family and the spontaneity of life during travels, I use this time to get myself excited about my work, my regular life, and my home. Though as a mother to three kids, I can’t exactly just focus on my work and myself. I have to organize my kids’ lives first – especially during the school year. It’s a crazy balancing act that works itself out somehow.

It gets overwhelming when I think of all the things I have to do in different segments of my life. It’s not like I can compartmentalize each segment. They all flow into each other. I have a home office that doubles as the kids’ study room. I have a kitchen that doubles as my blog office. And my closet has become some sort of supply room from all the samples sent to me. I manage my home, with the help of very good staff. But I’m still that person who has to think of menus, grocery lists, baon, doctors’ appointments, driver’s schedule while trying to meet deadlines, negotiating at meetings, and doing my job as a corporate emcee and host. I cook, I give my kids baths, and I make sure Patrick and I have lots of together time.

Here’s what the balancing act looks like —

 

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My work table at home.

 

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Prototypes of DAPHNE & National Book Store in my kitchen — because my kitchen doubles as an office. I love the light here.

 

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In my professional life, I emcee high-profile/corporate events, and I’m a TV presenter. I do not miss the days of producing and hosting a weekly show by myself. Now my time is more flexible. And I get to do top quality work of my choice. This was when I hosted a benefit for Typhoon Haiyan with Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian.

 

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When I hosted the anniversary event of Etihad, with CEO James Hogan.

 

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When I hosted the grand launch gala of City of Dreams.

 

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Hair and make up time, also doubles as time to catch up on emails and some writing.

 

I often get asked at interviews, “How do you do it?” The truth is, I do not know. Everything just happens. I do not have a concrete system. I basically just make lists and try to tick off as much from that list as I can during the day. I spent a lot of my 30’s making do with very little sleep. That is something I am not very proud of. Whether you are a mom or not, please, do not scrimp on sleep. Your body needs to heal and recharge. Get enough sleep.

Here are a few tips on how I keep myself in top form in order to run my little enterprises, manage my home, take care of my family, and make sure I am healthy.

1. I avoid getting sick by keeping my immunity strong. The rainy season has set in, and the common cold lurks around the corner. No one wants to be set back by a cold, flu, or other infectious diseases. The most important habit I have (and have instilled on my kids) is to wash my hands with soap and water all the time. It is one of the best ways to stop the spread of diseases. And to top it up, I boost my immunity by taking multivitamins every day.

 

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Remember when I took that trip to New Zealand and brought some Conzace with me? It helped keep my immunity up in the cold winter weather.

 

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Multivitamins can help you fight off possible viruses and infections. I make sure to shield myself from catching a cold by taking multivitamins.

 

2. No matter how busy I am, I have committed to doing pilates at least twice a week. I do this in the morning before I start my day. My advice is for you to find the time that works best for you. My afternoons are unpredictable, so I prefer to get it out of the way in the mornings. Do not underestimate the power of a clear mind and strong body to uplift your spirit and productivity.

 

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Pilates at Options Studio.

 

3. I avoid processed food. We still have fast food whenever it’s totally unavoidable, but this happens very seldom. I prepare healthier snacks and lunch for my kids (will have courage to share soon), and I usually make a bit more for my husband and me. I also have maintained my commitment to green-juicing. I have a cold presser and I religiously juice – cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, carrot, ginger, green apple and whatever greens I find in my fridge and the grocery.

 

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Green juice gives me a jolt every morning. I take a glass daily, first thing in the morning. Then after twenty minutes, I have a regular breakfast. I don’t believe in skipping meals.

 

4. I do not work at night anymore. I used to write during those precious quiet times when everyone was asleep. I’d still have to wake up when the whole house woke up so I ended up being very sleep-deprived. Not a good thing. I stopped that. Now I sleep, sleep, sleep. Wake up early. Get things done. Working from bed is also very bad for your neck. More on that later.

 


No more working in bed.

 

5. Daily quiet time helps a lot. I start and end my day in prayer. Sometimes the busier I am, the more I need to unplug from the digital world, hide from the real world, and just sit still. I have a favourite chapel that I go to. I also make sure to connect with nature. There is a lack of public parks and open spaces in the city. We knew this decades ago. So my husband and I worked towards making sure we always have access to nature – beach, mountain, farm. That’s where I find stillness and calm.

 


I love sitting in chapels. We all have our way of praying. I find that being in a quiet space helps me find my centre and strengthen my faith.

 


City life can take a toll on us. I make sure we make time for fresh air in our little rural plot.

 


My happy place. This is home to us. We come here to get recharged so we can do what we do.

 

I’m curious to know how you keep it together. How do you balance your work, passions and family responsibilities? How do you keep yourselves healthy? Are you as conscious about immunity as I am?

 

 

Honoured by the Senate of the Philippines

 

 

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Last March 16, 2015 I was invited to attend a women’s month celebration at the Philippine Senate by Senator Pia Cayetano. Her staff told me that I had been chosen to be among 15 women who would be celebrated for our achievements in different fields. I knew there would be a Women’s Month exhibit entitled “Empowered Women: Raising the Bar,” highlighting women who’ve made valuable contributions in different areas of society. But I didn’t really know that there would be an entire ceremony that would formalize and legalize our “honours.”

I was allowed to bring three guests, so I brought both my parents and my eldest daughter, Sophia. My parents are here for a few more weeks and I thought it would be a treat for them to see something they only get to see in ANC televised hearings. I brought my daughter so she could meet the other honourees. It’s important for young girls to have different and good role models. Since my husband had seen many events at the Senate as a journalist, I figured he could miss this one.

After the ribbon-cutting moment with Senator Pia Cayetano and Senator Cynthia Villar, we were escorted to the Senate Hall. I was seated right in the middle of the VIP gallery across the table and stage of the Senate President. Beside me were fellow awardees prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, social entrepreneurs Anna and Camille Meloto, first Filipina to climb Mount Everest Noelle Wenceslao, 4-time world champion in bowling Bong Coo, and soprano Rachelle Gerodias.

Senator Pia Cayetano read her “Senate Resolution No. 1237, which honours fifteen women for their invaluable contributions. These women are achievers in their respective fields. They inspire the whole nation, especially young girls to excel despite adversities, despite obstacles.” Source: Pia Cayetano. I heard words like “trailblazers”, “drivers of change”, and “bringing honour to the country.” I was stunned.

I am so thrilled that my parents and my daughter got to see me get honoured by the Philippine Senate. I came to the Philippines in the mid-90’s, not to be in media, but I took on an assignment as project manager of an urban planning program in the Visayas, funded by the government of Canada. Even back then, I was aware of the need to participate in nation building. Before I joined Philippine media, I went to Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and volunteered on medical missions. And as I got “side-tracked” to the worlds of broadcasting, blogging, and entrepreneurship, I had always found ways to try to make a difference, mostly by telling stories. Moving here cost me a lot – my family, my education, my career in international development and urban planning. I wanted my move here to make sense. I know it does because I met my husband and had our family here. But I wanted my work to make sense. I eventually found my voice when UNICEF appointed me as Special Advocate for Children in 2010. It sort of formalized what I had been doing – advocating for marginalized mothers and infants, for the awareness of heritage conservation, for the need for urban parks and other environmental causes. But I haven’t really done anything concrete, nothing tangible. I still want to be able to do more. Like I always say, no one needs a fancy title just to make a difference. We can all do.

I pray for humility. But this is a really big deal for me. So thank you for allowing me to share my story. I dont know if I really deserve this honour. But at that moment when I stood up and Sen Pia read my name and my contributions, the only thing I could think of was “Thank you God for leading me down this path. It wasn’t always making sense. It still doesn’t sometimes. But I am just following your path.” When I calmed down, I kept whispering to Camille, Lisa and Rachelle, “Wow, this is so awesome. Our how amazing that our parents are here to witness this.” Then I turned to Noelle, “Our names are in a Senate Resolution!” Then Noelle says, “Can you believe it? We are so legit!” Chuckles.

 

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On the Senate floor before formal session began. From L-R, Noelle Wenceslao, Lisa Macuja-Elizade, Anna Meloto, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Camille Meloto, Senator Pia Cayetano, Bong Coo, me, and Senator Bongbong Marcos.

 

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My view

 

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I am amazed with this group of women who have achieved so much and serve as inspirations and role models.

 

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There’s my 3-person cheering squad. Nothing but love.

 

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My moment. I don’t know why I have a pseudo-duck face. I was really nervous and in disbelief. Plus one of my senator friends tried to make me laugh. (Oh, by the way, I am totally aware it was a bad hair day. I arrived with my hair pulled back in a tight pony tail. After my first photos, my mother tells me that the pony tail made me look old. She suggested I take it down. So I did. And this is what happened. Disaster! Haha.)

 

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I love this about us Filipinos. That we stand and put our right hand to our heart when we sing our national anthem. This meant a lot to me.

 

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Holding the actual Senate Resolution.

 

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In her privilege speech, Sen Pia Cayetano read, “In this light, I rise to sponsor P.S. Resolution No. 1237 which seeks to honor fifteen women for their invaluable contributions. These women are achievers in their respective fields. They inspire the whole nation, especially young girls to excel despite adversities, despite obstacles.” This is for my daughters.

 

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I thank UNICEF for the trusting me with this great platform, for giving me a means to affect change, for creating programs that protect the rights of children everywhere.

 

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At the Women’s Month exhibit.

 

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Lisa Macuja brought her ballet shoes.

 

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With Senator Cynthia Villar and Sen Pia Cayetano.

 

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Dr. Fe Del Mundo, first woman admitted to Harvard Medical School in 1936.

 

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Four-time world champion Olivia Bong Coo.

 

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Also given honours were White House Chef Cristeta Comerford, entrepreneur Sheila Marcelo, and world-renowned fashion designer Monique Lhuillier.

 

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Lang Dulay, famous T’boli dreamweaver.

 

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The Empowered Filipinas: Raising the Bar exhibit is still on at the Philippine Senate until the end of March.

 

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Girl power at Senator Pia’s  little reception.

 

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Soph collected autographs from the women awardees. Here she is with mountaineer Noelle Wenceslao. Soph, in her young age, has already trekked Mt Pinatubo.

 

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Sophia telling Senator Cayetano that she was part of the school group that went to the Senate months ago to talk to her about the Torre de Manila issue. Sophia wrote her opinion editorial on Torre de Manila (destroying the view of the Rizal Monument) in her school’s newspaper.

 

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The actual resolution.

 

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Speechless.

 

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Thank you Senator Pia Cayetano for recognizing the role of women in nation-building (and for the cake from Slice). Thank you to the Senate of the Philippines for the honour. You made my parents so proud.